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2013 Dodge Challenger

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2013 Dodge Challenger Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

With a muscular body, powerful engine choices and a whole lot of attitude, the 2013 Dodge Challenger easily plays the role of modern-day muscle car. Like its main rivals, the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, the Challenger has the aggressive looks and performance that made these cars famous decades ago, yet boasts today's technology and a modicum of creature comforts. The Challenger's V6 and V8 engines can't match the power and fuel economy of those in the Camaro and Mustang, but what little track performance the car loses it makes up for in daily driving. Unlike those competitors, the larger Challenger can seat up to five people and has a less claustrophobic – albeit still plastic-clad – interior.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a Mopar man who's all about the attitude, the 2013 Challenger will pull you in like a tractor beam. And for those who need their modern-day muscle car to have a rear seat that accommodates three passengers, this is it.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You won't be king of the hill with this car. Even with a 6.4-liter V8 engine packing 470 horsepower, the Challenger's power output is more than 100 less than a Camaro ZL1 and nearly 200 behind the Mustang Shelby GT500. And unlike those cars, the 2013 Challenger still isn't available as a convertible.

What's New for 2013

Available in a variety of trims including the newer Rallye Redline, the Challenger coupe carries over mostly unchanged for 2013. New exterior colors are available, and improvements have been made to the optional Garmin navigation system. SRT8 392 models have selectable suspension settings and standard launch control for maximizing acceleration.

Driving the Challenger
Driving Impressions

The 2013 Challenger is no paper tiger. Even a base SXT comes with a 305-horsepower V6 that gives this rear-wheel-drive coupe plenty of gusto. Those wanting serious oomph will gravitate...

... toward R/T versions, which feature a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine and performance upgrades to the steering and suspension. At the top of the lineup is the Challenger SRT8, which features an even bigger, 6.4-liter V8 engine that's good for 470 ponies. V8 versions will also be the only choice for buyers wanting to shift manually, as they come with a 6-speed gearbox. V6 models are available only with a 5-speed automatic, also offered as an option on V8 models for drivers who just want to floor it and go. The Challenger is great in a straight line, but lighter, more agile cars can beat it in corners. In everyday driving, the Challenger is pleasant, with a firm but not jarring ride.

18-SPEAKER HARMAN/KARDON AUDIO SYSTEM
With 900 watts of audio blasting through 18 – yes, eighteen – speakers, this upgrade makes the Challenger sound better than many home-theater systems.

PASSENGER AND CARGO SPACE
The 2013 Challenger won't win the power wars, but when it comes to passenger space in front and back, it has the Camaro and Mustang beat. Here, two adults can fit in back without feeling like they're in purgatory. Also a bonus: a bigger trunk than its rivals.

2013 Dodge Challenger Details
Interior

The Dodge Challenger's cabin is functional and has some cool styling features, but overall this coupe's interior doesn't live up to the promises made by its flashy, retro-esque exterior. Still a product of the previous-generation Dodge Charger sedan, the Challenger's interior has not received the update of its 4-door sibling. Thus the hard plastics, dull colors and relatively loud interior remain for 2013. The front bucket seats are wide and firm, and help cradle bodies with their side bolstering and adjustable lumbar support. In the rear, two adults can actually fit, and three people can squeeze in a pinch. At over 16 cubic feet, the Challenger's trunk is bigger than those of some large sedans.

Exterior

Today's Challenger certainly echoes traits from the car of the same name that was born in the 1970s, but park a 2013 model next to one from 40 years ago and the differences become very clear. First is the size. Longer and taller than the first-gen car, the 2013 Challenger coupe is the length of a full-size sedan. From every side, the Challenger presents its challenge to other cars on the road, though its aggressiveness is a bit more reserved than the more angular Camaro. Four menacing headlights appear as angry eyes up front, and the sides are defined by massive haunches above the rear wheels. In back are multiple tailpipes and trunk-spanning taillights.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Dodge Challenger returns with several trim choices, from the base SXT to the loaded SRT8 392. Even a base SXT model comes standard with keyless entry, 18-inch all-season performance tires, automatic climate control, remote start, and 6-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input and Chrysler's Uconnect hands-free communication system. Stepping up to a base R/T model brings the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine, upgraded sound system with Boston speakers, fog lights and rear spoiler. With the SRT model, you'll get the biggest engine available and a 1-day "Track Experience" where you can learn how to better control your car's performance.

Optional Equipment

Numerous upgrades are available for the 2013 Challenger individually or as part of a package, depending on trim level. Among the highlights are high-intensity headlights, sunroof, 18-speaker harman/kardon sound system, track suspension, navigation system, 20-inch wheels, and various appearance packages to make your car appear even bolder.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Dodge Challenger offers a choice of three gasoline engines. Even the base powerplant, Chrysler's modern 3.6-liter V6, makes 305 horsepower and delivers plenty of performance for any reasonable use on the highway or a twisty mountain road. The value leader is the 5.7-liter HEMI V8. For the real power mongers, there is the 6.4-liter SRT8 V8. The base engine earns an EPA fuel economy rating of 27 mpg on the highway, but those mpg's wane as the cubic inches rise. The V6 and 5.7-liter V8 can run on regular unleaded; premium-grade fuel is recommended for the 6.4-liter V8.

3.6-liter V6
305 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
268 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg

5.7-liter HEMI V8
372 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm (automatic)
375 horsepower @ 5,150 rpm (manual)
400 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (automatic)
410 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm (manual)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 mpg (manual), 16/25 mpg (automatic)

6.4-liter HEMI V8
470 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
470 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/23 mpg

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2013 Dodge Challenger Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 414 Ratings for the 2008 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Quiet 3.6 more than adaquite for all around

By on Saturday, May 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "looks and realiability."

Cons: "Body gaps and Fit. Issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Car is very smooth the 8 speed auto is great. I've played around with the 0-60 performance gauge and for a heavy car with a V6 my best time was 6.1 seconds. Not bad for a daily cruiser weighing in at 4000 lbs. This car is very comfortable on long drives. I bought this car new, for daily use and it does preform well. The tech. package is great also. The only real issue is, Body fit and gaps. I owned a 70 Cuda and it reminds me of the seventies when fit and finish of American cars stunk. Kudos to Dodge BUT tighten up alignment of doors, hoods trunks and fenders."

22 people out of 22 found this review helpful

old is new

By on Sunday, April 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks, build quality, power, handling, brakes."

Cons: "Manual trans (shifting/long throws) door pockets,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Summer day at the park.

"I traded in my 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R for my 2011 Challenger in October, 2013, buying it certified used with 7,100 miles on it. A few minor light scratches, other than that the car looked and drove as new. Plenty of room inside up front. You need to slide your seats up a bit if you like your rear seat passengers, but it's really best for two up front. An R/T Plus, it's optioned well, very comfortable, quiet and sure footed on every road type. The Super track Pak makes for a firm ride, but for me, not objectionably so. For a car that is large, it handles quite nimbly on mountain roads at imprudent speeds. The acceleration for the 5.7L is very robust, and I routinely get 24-28mpg on the highway. Of course, I don't put my foot through the firewall much. The 6 speed Tremec transmission may be a weak point on my Challenger. I recently am finding shifting sporadically difficult, mostly when warm, and only about 15% of the time. But I find that annoying. Dealer visit has not yet yielded a fix. The only other problem was with the airbag warning light, which began staying on. It was found that a wire connector under the passenger seat was faulty. It took the dealer three times to fix it. I'll find out the quality of the repair first time into a pole. The sound system is great, HVAC auto temp works great, heated seats, etc., all wonderful. Seat leather is a quality product, and the seats, with power driver's lumbar, are an absolute dream on long trips, Wide door makes getting in and out a breeze. And the look. Well, I literally can't back out of my garage without people noticing, and often responding positively. I came up when the original muscle cars were roaming the streets. I was a disciple of Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge, owned several, drove several more. They were, and are fun. But this car, "fugedaboudit", is light years ahead. I love this car, and I'll keep it as long as I'm on the right side of the flowers!"

9 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Summer day at the park.

Dodge crushed it in 2016

By on Monday, March 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Retro, comfort, handling with Scat Pack, quick!"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I grew up in the 60's and have always been a fan of the 69 and 70 model year GTO's, Chevelle SS 396 and 454, Challenger 440 and Torino GT's. I drove a 69 AMX 390 back in the day and miss those years dearly. Todays cars are much more refined with turbo fours and V6 cars like the camaro, mustang and Challenger turning out performance numbers of the older big block beast. Which brings me to this review: I have owned a 2012 Challenger R/T, 2013 Camaro SS, 2014 Mustang GT and a 2015 Charger R/T in recent years. In 2016 I broke away from the "muscle car" rumble with V8's that have cylinder deactivation and nose heavy handling and went to a 2016 Challenger SXT Plus with the Super Scat Pack and nav package. The lighter V6 and Scat Pack makes for great handling, the Alpine premium stereo is on par with my BMW stereo and performance is only slightly off of the V8 crowd (0-60 in 5.8 sec and the quarter in 14 sec and 98 mph. Now it is no race car - but it is a great cruiser with handling and performance of the GTO's and Chevelle SS of years past. I have a couple of friends who traded their Mustang and SVO Taurus for a Challenger SXT Plus with Scat Pack and Nav. We all agree this newly refreshed model will be a buyers choice for the years to come! If you can find a Plus model with Scat Pack check it out - it will be worth your time!"

11 people out of 31 found this review helpful

You need to own one.

By on Sunday, March 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,444

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Eco-mode saves fuel."

Cons: "Quick, but this car only has a 3.5 ltr motor."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"In my own opinion this is a must have vehicle for a car owner that wants the classic muscle car look and dependability of a newer model vehicle. Yes, it is big, yes the bright color is flashy, yes the wheels have that bling that is in style, and yes it can be ordered in either a Hemi style V8 engine or fuel efficient V6 engine. All my friends back in my technical school really were curious about my Challenger, because the people I went to school with were also car enthusiasts as well. My goal was to save plenty of money to pay for a new car and this is the vehicle that was hot and new, so I went out and bought it. This was my first vehicle that came straight from the dealership that I purchased. With good credit it was no problem to go to the dealership and buy my Dodge Challenger right off of the showroom floor. I did not think too much about what kind of car to buy, however when I bought this car I wanted a two door car that had good fuel economy. And my Dodge Challenger has not really affected my wallet by stopping to fill up my fuel tank once a week. The way you drive a car can really help you save on fuel costs. That is why since this car is on the heavy side I get up to the speed limit and then the eco-mode turns two of the six cylinders off. But when you step on the gas pedal the eco-mode turns all cylinders back on. The 5-speed automatic transmission works really well, however there is no transmission dipstick to check trans fluid level. My car also was equipped with the rallye pack upgrade and the gps is kind of hard to get used to, but I love my car and its accessories. All over I give this car a 7 out of 10 points, because for the money this is a good vehicle that is dependable."

10 people out of 28 found this review helpful

2011 Challenger R/T Plus, black on black, 6 speed

By on Saturday, March 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great retro looks, comfortable, sporty, fast."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

Summer's day at the park.

"Bought this car Certified Used at a local Chrysler dealership with 7,100 miles on it in late 2013. I was 57 years old at the time. This car has been wonderful, needing only one fix (the finger pad on the underside of the exterior door handle for keyless entry needed to be replaced) in addition to regular oil changes, and other scheduled maintenance. It's a large car with a solid ride, a bit stiff because of the performance suspension, but not objectionably so. Loaded with comforts I couldn't imagine in the V-code 'Cuda we owned in the 70s, the 5.7 is quite fast enough, and rewards good behavior with better than advertised MPG. My car currently has 42,000 miles, runs like new, looks almost new, is a joy to drive, and a pleasure to own."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Summer's day at the park.

Awesome Machine.

By on Saturday, February 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable, Awesome Power, Ageless,"

Cons: "Not good if you plan on driving in the snow lol."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"If "Loyalty is Royalty" then I am the epitome of it. My 2015 392 Sublime Green SRT8 premium Challenger is my 4th Challenger and my 6th Mopar. What I love about the Challenger is it seems to be universally ergonomic for everyone. Has a ton of Power and Torque. Great Daily Driver and Friday night track car."

16 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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